The DUMBO LOFT history of the block
This was a residential block with houses slowly displaced by factories. The earliest industrial establishment was William Taylor & Sons’s Columbian Iron Works, on Adams and Water Streets. Before the construction of the Manhattan Bridge led to the demolition of much of this block, it housed a brass foundry, a sign making company, a two-story machine shop and storage facility for E. W. Bliss, and Phillips, Doup & Company.
Edward Cole manufactured steam fittings in this building. By 1905 he had leased the property to Phillips, Doup & Company. The 1904 Sanborn atlas records that the firm manufactured steam heaters, while in 1912, the New York State industrial survey records the company as a manufacturer of wheelbarrows (employing 24 people). In 1920, the building was sold to L.& H. Stern, manufacturers of smoking pipes and accessories. This company had offices and sales rooms on the lower two floors and manufacturing above.
The simple brick facade, articulated by segmental openings and projecting lintels and sills, marks 155 Water Street as an example of the American Round Arch style. This, together with its slow- burning mill construction, makes it representative of American factory architecture of this period and contributes to the architectural and historical character of the DUMBO Historic District. Built in 1891, during a major period of development when manufacturers such as Edward H. Cole were making DUMBO into one of the city’s most important industrial neighborhoods, the structure contributes to the district through its architecture, structure, and the fact that its owners played a significant role in the area’s history.
National Register of Historic Places, Dumbo National Register Nomination.
Andrew S. Dolkart (2000).
“Projected New Buildings Brooklyn,” Real Estate Record and Builders Guide 47 (21 March
1891): 457. .